Women Writers and Historical Fiction

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When

Tuesday, March 23, 2021
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Add to Calendar 03/23/2021 12:00 03/23/2021 13:00 Women Writers and Historical Fiction

Join the North Carolina State University Libraries for a conversation between Dr. Lucinda MacKethan and Dr. Deborah Hooker, who will share ideas on the topic of women writing historical fiction. Dr. MacKethan has recently published a biography, Anya Seton: A Writing Life, which explores the personal and professional struggles of this bestselling author of historical novels dating from 1941 to 1972. Seton’s life, as woman and writer, thus can provide an entree into several other related issues, starting with American publishing practices at mid-century, especially as these affected women. Since Seton’s novels were deemed historical romances, her work also leads naturally into a consideration of popular Romance fiction, so often a category into which women writers were relegated. How should the Romance genre itself be evaluated today? Also noteworthy is the overriding influence of male scholars and critics who became the arbiters of literary taste beginning in the 1940s. A final question for all of us to reflect upon: What are our expectations when we read historical novels? Are they, and is history itself, gendered in ways seldom acknowledged? 

Dr. MacKethan, retired Alumni Distinguished Professor of English at NC State University, is the author of several books and articles on Southern, African American, and women writers. She was a fellow of the National Humanities Center where her resources for teachers are featured on the center’s website. At NC State University she received the Holladay medal, recognizing faculty who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and impact in research, teaching, or extension and engagement. She will use her comprehensive study of Anya Seton to illustrate the stakes for women trying to be artistically as well as popularly successful in their writing. 

Dr. Hooker has retired as Director of Women’s and Gender Studies at NC State University, where she was the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council on the Status of Women.  The award honors individuals in the NC State community whose work over the course of their time has had long-term impact on equity for women and all members of the campus Through her wide knowledge of gender theory and practice, she will offer insights on the implications connected to how we read and value women writers.

Please register here to participate in the event.

Where

  • Virtual

Event Description

Join the North Carolina State University Libraries for a conversation between Dr. Lucinda MacKethan and Dr. Deborah Hooker, who will share ideas on the topic of women writing historical fiction. Dr. MacKethan has recently published a biography, Anya Seton: A Writing Life, which explores the personal and professional struggles of this bestselling author of historical novels dating from 1941 to 1972. Seton’s life, as woman and writer, thus can provide an entree into several other related issues, starting with American publishing practices at mid-century, especially as these affected women. Since Seton’s novels were deemed historical romances, her work also leads naturally into a consideration of popular Romance fiction, so often a category into which women writers were relegated. How should the Romance genre itself be evaluated today? Also noteworthy is the overriding influence of male scholars and critics who became the arbiters of literary taste beginning in the 1940s. A final question for all of us to reflect upon: What are our expectations when we read historical novels? Are they, and is history itself, gendered in ways seldom acknowledged? 

Dr. MacKethan, retired Alumni Distinguished Professor of English at NC State University, is the author of several books and articles on Southern, African American, and women writers. She was a fellow of the National Humanities Center where her resources for teachers are featured on the center’s website. At NC State University she received the Holladay medal, recognizing faculty who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and impact in research, teaching, or extension and engagement. She will use her comprehensive study of Anya Seton to illustrate the stakes for women trying to be artistically as well as popularly successful in their writing. 

Dr. Hooker has retired as Director of Women’s and Gender Studies at NC State University, where she was the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council on the Status of Women.  The award honors individuals in the NC State community whose work over the course of their time has had long-term impact on equity for women and all members of the campus Through her wide knowledge of gender theory and practice, she will offer insights on the implications connected to how we read and value women writers.

Please register here to participate in the event.

Contact Information

Brooke Peters

Admission Information

Free and open to the public.

Accessibility

If you require a disability-related accommodation to participate in this event, such as live captioning, please contact Marian Fragola at marian_fragola@ncsu.edu or 919-513-3481 to arrange services. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs​.

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